Landlords Guide: Health, Safety And Other Legal Requirements
As a landlord in Peterborough, there are health, safety and other legal requirements that you need to meet. Below we have listed some of the requirements that are the responsibility of you, the landlord. As your letting agents in Peterborough, we are responsible for ensuring compliance.
How To Rent Booklet
As of 1st October 2015, landlords are responsible for giving tenants a booklet called “How To Rent: The Checklist for renting in England. This was a booklet created by The Department of Communities and Local Government. It provides tenants with specific information on restrictions and the use of Section 21.
Gas Safety Requirements
You will need to have an annual safety check on your property. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 require that all gas appliance and flues in rented accommodation are checked for safety at least every 12 months. This must be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Certificates of this need to be kept for at least 2 years. A copy of the gas certificate also needs to be given to all new tenants before their tenancy commences.
Electrical Safety Requirements
There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety. These affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. With rented properties there is a legal requirement for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (also known as an EICR) and an Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC). Both of these are valid for up to 5 years.
Fire Safety Requirements
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) state that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, and certain other items. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 come into force on 1st October 2015. Landlords and managing agents may be liable to a £5000 fine if they fail to comply. The new legislation requires that all landlords must install a working smoke alarm on every floor of a property as well as carbon monoxide detectors in rooms where solid fuel appliances are present.
House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Requirements
If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e., not all the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules will apply. Please contact our team for further details on HMO regulations as these are different.
The HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System
The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords in Peterborough have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme is supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents can choose between two types of schemes. These are a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes. Please call our team if you are unsure of the best tenancy deposit protection for you.
From October 2010, the Equality Act replaced much of the Disability Discrimination Act of 2005. However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA continues to apply. These Acts define disabled people’s rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let. Landlords and managers of let/to let premises are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Requirements
Since 1st October 2008 landlords in England and Wales offering property for rent are required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property. In Scotland EPCs for rental properties have been required since January 2009. The certificates must be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted. An EPCs is valid for 10 years. We can arrange an EPC inspection for our landlord clients upon request.